Skip to main content

Grateful Dead Live at Saratoga Performing Arts Center on 1983-06-18

Audio Preview

Grateful Dead Live at Saratoga Performing Arts Center on 1983-06-18

Topics Live concert

Bertha-> Jack Straw, Bird Song, Mexicali Blues-> Big River, Althea, Hell In A Bucket-> Deal Scarlet Begonias-> Fire On The Mountain, Playin' In The Band-> Drums-> The Wheel-> Playin' In The Band Reprise-> Morning Dew, Throwing Stones-> Not Fade Away-> Touch Of Gray, E:Don't Ease Me In-> E: One More Saturday Night

Collection GratefulDead
Band/Artist Grateful Dead
Venue Saratoga Performing Arts Center
Location Saratoga Springs, NY

Source Sennheiser 421's> Sony D-5 taped by Jim Wise


Sennheiser 421's> Sony D-5 taped by Jim Wise; cass master> CDR; via Tony Gardner with thanks to Paul Bottiglio; Note-May circ with mislabelled tracks, they would read 6-13-83


Reviewer: richardcanoli - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 26, 2016
Subject: very special night of music and lightning
"lots of double-dose people here tonight!" is what i managed to scribble on the back of my ticket stub. the aud is pretty loud on this recording, but they really roared whenever "if the thunder don't getcha the lightning will" It's because thru Space before The Wheel Jerry was playing weird atmospheric licks as if he was accompanying the brilliant, exploding flashes of lightning and rolls of spooky thunder exploding above us in the sky that night...

It had been such a beautiful day. Majestic clouds floated peacefully over the parkland that is the Saratoga Performing Arts Center. The tribe was mellow and serene as sunshine rays of golden daydream liquid bathed the rocky woods and splashing streams. In their own way everyone contributed to the day's celebration, priming each other for the show. Drumming, singing, dancing, toking and passing along.

The journey from the campsites to the venue is so beautiful. That day there were no lines only groups of people ahead and behind trekking together through the woods, heading to an evening that promised to be blessed.

The band did not disappoint: Bertha is a great way to open a show. Jack was "Enjoy the Ride" or so the back of my ticket says, then Althea, both fairly new songs in '83. Back to the tales of western heroes and villains, with Mexicali into Big River after that. We found ourselves an inviting space on the hill on the grass beneath the sky...the sound was amazing even as high as we were. Credit the extended P.A. setup for bathing the hill in sound. Entering the venue we sensed the best place for us was under the sky. plenty of space to spread the blankets, soak up the sun while it lasted, to watch and wait to see what the night would reveal of heaven.

Swaying and twirling to dreamy Birdsong and Althea, square dancing on the grass with beautiful strangers to Mexicali and Deal, the first set closed as the sun went to rest down round the other side leaving a star spangling night. The afternoon clouds made nightfall a cyclorama, firing their electrical charges at each other and this was not lost on the band as they began to play with the lightning and thunder. Most of the moons and red dragons, the drops dropped onto welcoming tongues had by then reached peak immersion so when the set break came around there were smiles wherever you looked, pie-eyed lovers trading glances making each other welcomed and reassured...we're all in this together tonight!

The 2nd set begins and the strangest part of the trip but for now it's fun and light with Scarlet's song then the transition to Fire foreshadows eeriness to come. There is power and majesty in the air, an aura of things unexplained, unnamed. It can be unnerving to dance on ground solid below your bare feet sensing only slightly further on stars explode, galactic cataclysms draw us in toward a final black hole that someday will swallow everything. As the heavens above and the song's rhythms below combine to forge new musical explorations the rumbling, wobbling spinning jam rises higher and finally the band ignites the Fire on the Mountain. When Playing becomes furious the skies rise to it and the lightning and thunder are now distinctly part of the show; Billy and Mickey have intimate relations with nature's primordial forces so their drum break is extraordinary, at once joyous and scary. The band enters back slowly, as Space becomes a Wheel, the sky plays on no rain but lightning and bombs. The crowd I toured with that summmer miraculously (as always, right?!) turn up and we join new friends, holding hands through the Dew...sweating, smiling, safely stoned and glad to be alive. What a feeling with friends there, new ones too, as the music tells your love and pain that hearts bleed and souls soar on a night you'll remember for the rest of your life.

"one more saturday night" as special as they ever come.

thanks to all those concerned for making this available. I haven't heard a SBD of this show (does one exist?) but I love this recording. The crowd may be loud but not to worry - the music comes shining through. Thanks again, All, and thanks especially to the Good Ol' Grateful Dead.
Reviewer: fractalswithinNature - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 6, 2009
Subject: not the best source available, but show is a must have
the other AUD sources are better, so get those and don't be discouraged from burning this show to disc, it is a classic. this is a show for me that I never tire of playing, ever. it is beautiful. set one is solid. do you like bird song? check. how about Althea? this show has a great one. deal is agreat first set closer. Now for the heavy lifting: SET TWO!!!!!!!!!
scarlet>fire contains half an hour of that gorgeous, chaotic jamming that we know and love. THis Moring Dew is a must hear. YOU MUST HEAR IT!!! i get waves of body buzzes when i listen to this Dew, it is a wonder. heavy, heavy, heavy, song man. if you don't already have this show in your collection, you are missing one of the best, certainly from the 80's at least.
Reviewer: joesjams - favorite - February 29, 2008
Subject: Hard to listen to
Energy lacking a bit.
Guess you had to be there?
Reviewer: erik65 - favorite - February 29, 2008
Subject: 6-18-83 Saratoga
Great show, but Jim Wise had his D-5's levels up too high, in my opinion. Why the multiple copies from the same source?

The other copy, available here, from the front row of the balcony is much, much better.
Reviewer: bizzap - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 18, 2006
Subject: Best Morning Dew Ever!
This has to be the best Morning Dew thats ever been played. Its too bad most of the tapes of this show are echoey but if you can see through that, you'll see what I mean. Phil was tearin the place down during the whole second set. Ive often wondered why he didnt crank the bass more often. Its shows like this that created all the phil fans in the 80s. Jerry was tops in this show too. SPAC was the bomb, Ive never missed a show there.
Reviewer: godlesssailor - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 14, 2006
Subject: A MUST
After spending the day downlowding shoes this is THE CULLMINATION. This is up there with Cornell 77 and Stanford 10-10...This show rocks!!! The crowd sound adds to this greatly.It's hard to to seperate highlighs..From the start..Birdsong to Althea first set. Scarlet>Fire is all equal to and perhaps the better then the fabled Cornell77...This might very well BE THE SHOW....
Reviewer: SaintStevo - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 21, 2006
Subject: ohhhh memories...
Oh yeah.. this was a special show. The deadhead below is right, Saratoga and Alpine were two of the great outdoor amphitheaters ever to Melt with the Dead... and Saratoga was a special place to see them play. For those who Danced at Saratoga in the Rain in 84 and those who danced in the Sun in 83... you remember. This 83 show was the best of the best.
Reviewer: early 80's meltdown - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 23, 2006
Subject: The Beautiful Spac ship...
Man, I finally looked up the SPAC online so I could finally see pictures of this venue. Now I really understand what everyone's been raving about. I have always loved the 83,84 and 85 tapes from the Saratoga. Actually they are in my top 20 if not lower all time favorite shows. Iam a huge fan of the 84' tour but I like the year before and after a little better.
Anyway this place is absolutely beautiful. That must of been so fun to see the Dead at this place.(still can't imagine) Although some Heads who didn't make Deer Creek or Alpine feel same. Merriweather Post and the Greek Theater are 2 others I would of died to have been at esp. in the 83-85 Gonzo period. I bet Jerry and the boys were so stoked when they first laid eyes on this place in 1983. From the pictures it kind a has an ecological type look to it. More woods and a nature theme to it vs. Hard Steel & Metal structure like Tinley or Carter-Finley (I know thats a football field) but, trying to make a point. Must of been crazy when the circus rolled in town to hit the new Venue. I mentioned before I live near Alpine and hit almost all of those from 87~89 but I fell in love with the SPAC when I finally got to see what it looked like. I listened to those tapes for years and read alot about it and heard from friends first hand that went to the 85 show and I still can't imagine how much fun that would of been WOW!!! I feel the same way about Merriweather and of Coarse the Greek. Oh well I guess I'll have to settle with Alpine and Deer Creek. yuk yuk.
Reviewer: ride_her_like_a_surfer - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 6, 2004
Subject: The Dew.....
What an awesome show,great Scarlet>>Fire,the Dew is infuckingcredible,crescendo after crescendo and some good Phil bombs to boot
Reviewer: fireonshakedownstreet - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 1, 2004
Subject: Huge Scarlet>Fire
Jerry's turns on Scarlet are amazing. He goes higher and higher as the crowd goes crazy. Jesus H. Christ! Junkie Jerry at it again. Recording quality is not so great, but for a show like this with so much energy, I love to hear the crowd go nuts. Thanks Jim Wise.
Reviewer: Frederick Hoyt - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 18, 2004
Subject: 1st Show
Boy, I'm getting chills up and down my spine hearing this. This was my first show ever, and for all the times I saw the Dead afterwards (30+), this remains the best.

Admittedly, the recording quality isn't the best, but who the fuck cares? The energy of the show was of a quality that I never quite heard again at a Dead show, and even now, 21 years after the fact, I still hear it on the tape. For me the first two songs of the first set are transporting. And the second set: oh my god. The _Scarlet-Fire_ combination which flowed into _The Wheel_, which seemed to be played to coincide with an actual thunder storm which broke over the venue.

I don't know if the level of energy and synergy between the band, the audience, and the natural elements is accessible to people just hearing the tape, but I hope it is.

All in all, the recording quality is not good, but as a record of the Grateful Dead at the best I ever heard, I think this is a must-have and a must-hear.
Reviewer: sizhla - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - July 11, 2004
Subject: the boys
heynow.Ya'll are just too hard on them.wether anyone else could have got onstage and do what they did in half as sober as a state is a true champ.not to dis them.they had a fun time.all in all I think this show is pretty much prime time. Like pizza,even when its bad its still pretty good.dont mind me anyhoo.peace
Reviewer: VTVid - favoritefavorite - July 11, 2004
Subject: different?
is this recording any different from the other one that is listed for this date? same taper...any mix changes?

Edit: doesnt sound like it. crappy recording, in my opinion.
In Collection
Grateful Dead
In Collection
Live Music Archive
Uploaded by
Jonathan Aizen
on 6/22/2004
SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata)
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 22,635
favorite 20
comment 30
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 30 reviews )
Source: Set 2 (Front Row Balcony) Sennheiser 441 -> PCM -> CD -> Dat
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 28,434
favorite 30
comment 33
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 33 reviews )
Source: Sennheiser 421's> Sony D-5 taped by Jim Wise
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 5,935
favorite 10
comment 8
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 8 reviews )
Source: Sennheiser 421 -> Cassette Master (Sony TC-D5M/Maxell UDXLII-C90/Dolby B)
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 1,980
favorite 2
comment 1
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 1 reviews )
Source: AUD: 2x Beyer M-88's > Sony TC-D5M > Maxell MX-90s, recorded from inside the pavilion, directly behind the soundboard area, taped by Joe Morrone.
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 23,692
favorite 14
comment 23
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 23 reviews )
Source: Aud> Nak300> CM> CDR> EAC(Secure Mode)> CDWave(Retracking Only)> Shnv3(MKW ACT)
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 779
favorite 0
comment 0
Source: SBD -> Cassette Master (TDK SA-X90)
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 540
favorite 2
comment 2
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 2 reviews )
Source: MAC; Sennheiser 441s > Sony TCM-D5 > TDK MA 90s; Mic info: 2 rows behind board on Jerry side, mics @ 10ft; Transfer/Lineage: Master Audience Cassettes> Nakamichi Dragon> Lunatic V3 (@24/88.2)> WaveLab 7.2.1> .wav @24/88.2> UAD-2(editing/mastering)> .wav @24/88.2> xAct> flac24; Taper: Mark McCue; Transfer, editing and mastering: Alex Ford
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 18,682
favorite 41
comment 25
favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 25 reviews )
Source: flac16 SBD> Master Cassette> PCM> Dat (unconfirmed- could be SBD> VHS> Cass> Dat> CD);
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 1,281
favorite 3
comment 0
Source: FOB AUD: 3x Nakamichi CM300/CP1's cardioids > Nakamichi 550 > Maxell XLII-S 90's, set up in 12th row left of center. Taped by Tim Friend.
Grateful Dead
by Grateful Dead
eye 2,335
favorite 0
comment 4
favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite ( 4 reviews )
Source: Set 2 Only; Original Recording By Jeff Silberman; Sennheiser 441 (Front Row Balcony) > PCM > Dat >?; DAT Transfer Info: Friend's Dat (2 Hour) > (Possibaly 1 PCM) > (Unknown Cassette Deck) > Tape TDK MA 110; Transfer Information: Nakamichi MR-1 > Korg MR-1000 @ 1Bit/5.6 MHz; Tracking/Sample Rate Conversion With AudioGate Software To 32/96 Wave; Dithered/Flacked With Korg Aqua To 16/44; SBE's Checked/Fixed With Trader's Little Helper; Metadata Tagging With Tag&Rename